What is Corten Steel?
Corten steel is a high strength weathering steel that is corrosion resistant.
When exposed to the elements a stunning patina (rust) forms on the steel - the rust protects the steel from acidic environments, and it won't break down like regular steel. Rusty Corten not only looks fantastic it also ensures your art will last ....... & like good wine it just gets better with age!
What are the benefits of getting your Corten sculpture before rust starts (as clean steel)?
This is a really good option if you are not based in Nelson as the sculpture will always transport better prior to any rust forming (reduces the risk of scuffing or marking in transit) and you also then get to see the patina develop before your very eyes!
You can help the rust along spraying it with white vinegar or seawater but the first rainfall will make the biggest impact and most noticeable & exciting change to the steels appearance. Corten evolves best when exposed to plenty of sunshine and rain water.
Watching the patina develop and evolve is a very cool part of the art so we highly recommend this option - you will have your own unique patina on your sculpture(s) within a matter of weeks.
Will the rust leach?
Corten only tends to leach in its initial rusting phase when first forming the rust layer on clean Corten - once its coated / set then there is very little leaching from the steel. Because of potential initial leaching we recommend rusting up any 3Ds in stone-bases out of the stone to begin with - then once a decent coating of patina has formed they are fine popped back in the stone base - same applies if you intend to mount into concrete.
Gardens, grass & other permeable ground surfaces are great for the initial rusting up of Clean Corten.